The Master’s musings: adapting to the role and a busy start to my year
Published on: 1 December 2021
The day before Common Hall, I received an email from a Past Master saying how they hoped I was all set and ready to enjoy the year ahead. You can, and of course do, prepare for the year but three months in I am not sure that you can ever appreciate what you are preparing for until you get there. I am still learning.
A Luncheon at Guildhall was one of my first events and as I was announced by the Beadle as “The Master Butcher", the host, whom I knew, noticed my surprise. He very kindly told me that this is how you will be known in the City and that I shouldn’t look for Margaret Boanas on the seating plan. Taking my seat as the Master Butcher then led to questions about whether I had any connections with the industry and surprise when I said, yes.
My husband, Tony and I have been invited to some wonderful, black-tie and white-tie dinners and there we have met some really interesting people from all walks of life. What we didn’t anticipate, though, were the invitations received to some very interesting and informative Lectures; the Air Pilots Livery’s ‘The Greening of Aviation’ and the Worshipful Company of Horner’s Livery Company Lecture ‘Creating a Circular Plastics Economy with Engineered Enzymes’ were both excellent.
Returning to Butchers’ Hall and our traditional events has also been wonderful. The Lord Mayor and Lady Mayoress Elect and the team rehearsing for the Lord Mayor’s Parade joining us for an early breakfast stands out. Plus, our traditional Carvery Lunches, which sell out out so quickly, have been a great success.
In true Butchers style we are also creating new traditions.
For the first time in our proud and ancient history, a New Liverymen Clothing and Ceremony Event was held on 23rd September in Butchers’ Hall when, for the first time ever, The Clerk to the Chamberlain’s Court, Murray Craig, convened the Chamberlain’s Court in the Court Suite and imparted the Freedom of the City of London to 18 Freeman in a group ceremony, followed by an admission of 20 New Liverymen. A great occasion enjoyed by all.
We also hosted the first City Meat Lecture in November, which was given by Professor Frederic Leroy (pictured top). The title of ‘The Rightful Place of Meat in the National Diet’ was topical and fascinating and over 180 people gathered in the Great Hall for the lecture which was followed by excellent opportunities to network over a buffet supper. I certainly enjoyed welcoming everyone to our Home (pictured top). Well done to everyone involved. A video recording of the City Meat Lecture is now available for all to see below.
On Remembrance Sunday Tony and I attended the Church Service at St Bartholomew the Great, followed by a Carvery Lunch when almost 50 of the congregation joined us. The occasion, which was promoted and organised by Past Master Ian Kelly, was a great success and the first time such a occasion had been organised. Such was the appreciation for lunch that there were requests that it be an annual event and even suggestions that a monthly lunch for the church congregation be considered.
When I started on this journey, I asked for your support in attending events at the Hall and using the wonderful facilities, I am most grateful for the commitment of Liverymen and Corporate Partners in doing this. Whilst so much has returned to normal, there is still much to be done to catch up on the months of closure, and the road ahead will be bumpy.
We will continue to adhere to hospitality guidelines for all WCB events but we will act swiftly in response to any changes that are announced in the new year. I look forward to seeing you all in 2022, when hopefully, some of our traditions, like the Boar’s Head Ceremony will be reintroduced.
In the meantime, I wish you a joyous Christmas and prosperous New Year.
Margaret Boanas, The Master